The art of knowing when not to run



Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

Well that was a damp squib of a weekend. Me and the kids went to Cambridge, to race the Saucony half marathon (not them - I'm not that evil a parent ... yet ...) and ended up coming home on Sunday feeling rubbish, having not run so much as a stride. I have a weird virus that seems to involve all the secondary side effects - achy, heavy legs, lack of energy - but no primary ones. A real shame as I loved this race when I did it two years ago - even got a PB at the time - and was looking forward to a bit of a test of where my fitness is at. The answer to that test was apparently "gone on holiday without you". Bloody hope it's somewhere sunny and it's going to send me a postcard ...

Sometimes, though, it's harder to know when not to run, than when to pull on the trainers. Are you really ill, or just tired? Will running make you feel better, or worse? I'm now using an HRV app every morning and actually find it really reassuring when it confirms what my brain sometimes try to second guess - it was way down (bad) yesterday and still low today. I suppose in such circumstances there's also a big difference between "go out for a gentle 40 minutes" and "race a half marathon hard". Not only can you make yourself more ill, but of course you also end up suffering a bigger knock to your confidence - running a bad (relative to your expectations) time with more effort than it can feel to knock out a PB on a good day.

So, I did no running yesterday, drifted off to sleep twice, watched my kids swimming lessons (youngest one doing her first proper face-in front crawl! Woop!) and spent the evening curled up on the sofa watching the indoor athletics and fan-girling Laura Muir. The thing I currently love most in the entire sport of athletics is the moment where her facial expression changes. You can see it happen - the exact point at which she goes from supremely relaxed (at ridiculous speed) to "right, I'm taking this" determination, and hitting a gear that no one else could get close to. Much as I admire Kipchoge's serene smiling (and know that of course he is suffering underneath) I think it's great when you can see the work that goes into those moments. That's more inspiring, for me.

So, anyway, over to you guys. I'm sure your weekend involved a hell of a lot more running than mine (a solitary 5k shakeout on Saturday morning, which in retrospect did seem absurdly hard work at plodding pace). Come share your glory, your anguish and your favourite moments of the weekend (well, the ones that involve running and/or cake, that is.)

Comments

  1. Going to whinge again. I've not managed to get 1 park run in so far this year. A couple of weekends were because I went off on jaunts to visit friends.. so not whinging about that.. and I've marshalled 3 times. But every other wk end they've either been cancelled due to shit weather (gales mainly) or I've been sick. And looks like this wk end will get cancelled too as we've got 2 full solid weeks of gales coming up. Non stop. I'm really fed up.

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  2. Sorry to hear you’re unwell Kate, take care of yourself.

    I did a race yesterday called batty bimble. It consisted of 3.3mile laps on sandy trails. It’s over 6 hours and you can do as many or as few laps as you want. You stop at the end of every lap to get a hair bobble for your wrist and food and drinks. Very civilised. I signed up for the event to get 20 miles under my belt as I fine the long runs in marathon prep so hard to psych myself up for.

    And it was such a great event and such a good way to get the miles in. I had great company and as it was a small event and an out and back course you encourage each other along the way. I did 6 laps - 20 miles in 3 hrs, chatting most of the way and the miles flew by. The weather was less than ideal, but added to the sense of satisfaction post run, my washing machine will be wallowing in sand for a while.

    The company have events 6 times a year - highly recommend for training runs/fun (I don’t work for them or anything). Hope everyone had good weekends despite the storm.

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    1. That sounds a lovely way to get through the 20-miler hump. Was it in Scotland?

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    2. Yes, so much better than a solo slog. No, it was in Bordon in Hampshire. And I think the weather was better in Scotland yesterday for a change!

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  3. I managed even less running than you as my one week break post-HM should have been two and I now have a wee knee niggle. So I've not ran since Tuesday and unsure when the comeback will be.

    Silly, silly because in truth we all know when other people shouldn't run and if we could just apply it to ourselves we'd get on a lot better. I'd say on the whole I'm pretty good at it but this time I was seduced by an injury-free block and a relatively pain free PB so I'm now on the couch with a bucket of ibuprofen for company. Silly, silly...

    Anyway, i also enjoyed the athletics though truth be told I'd hoped a more exciting W3,000 as the 15 was never anything more than a coronation. Also contrived to miss Lewandowski slapping down the boy wonder...I suspect long-term it won't do him any harm. A new mile WR as well is worth celebrating and there's a feeling this could be a fantastic year for running, building on 2018 nicely.

    Well done to everyone getting out and about, everyone else can bring beer and cake to my sofa.

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  4. I've been a long-time lurker, because getting plantar fasciiitis soon after the 2017 Lakes In A Day race meant that last year was basically a write-off.

    Still have PF, but either I'm simply more used to the discomfort, or it's easing up. And I've finally been able to do some proper kilometres in training.

    Yesterday was the Saxons-Vikings-Normans "Mega Marathon" near Ashford. Crap weather, heavy wind and rain, quagmires of mud, cheeky hills. All the conditions I needed, in other words, to be able to defeat younger, quicker runners!

    A 34-year-old guy called Adrian was faster than me, but he ran more laps and did an ultra-marathon. But as far as the 26.2 race went, I won! I literally won a race.

    On my birthday.

    On my 50th birthday.

    This will never, ever happen again, but just for once in my life, it was great to have "my day". Good times.

    And yes, there was cake afterwards.

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    1. Yes to winning, yes to cake and boo to PF. Well done!

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    2. Congratulations! That's pretty cool on a special birthday. I hope you celebrated with more than cake!

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    3. There was mucho booze consumed, as well 👍

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    4. Oh wow! What a fantastic thing. You'll have that forever.

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    5. I have never won a race but once accidentally finished second at a half marathon.

      I turned up just wanting to do a training run just to get the leg used.to long distances again and after two miles realised I was third so just decided to go for it!

      The novelty of being in a podium place was great (and probably never to be repeated)

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    6. Wow! This is awesome! And the best way I can think of to break your lurking streak too.

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  5. Hope that you're feeling better soon Kate.


    Me, I had a great week! I'm currently going through the "amazed" phase of my triathlon training, because, even though the amount of swim/bike/run I'm doing, and my body is tired a lot, I'm getting good performances in all three disciplines. Who knew that if you prepare your body to suffer it responds well when the chips are down.


    Midweek I did a hill reps session. Eight times up a third of a mile hill. Truthfully I wasn't looking forward to it as the effort can make me feel sick! However, when I started my first rep I met a friend coming down the hill and doing the same as me. Now, he's a 5min 3x ish per mile runner for a 5k, so we're not in the same class at all, but we found that as we passed each other with a quick shout out of encouragement and support it gave us both a boost. At the end I could honestly say that having Vince for company made the workout close to enjoyable. I also did a brick session during the week and the run was after bike intervals out of the saddle up a short hill. I wasn't sure how my legs would respond on the run as they felt wasted at the end of the bike session, but it was really good.


    Yesterday, after a 4 hour ride on Friday and a day off on Saturday, I had a 100 minute run. Longer runs can get a bit boring, same routes, same things to see. So I arranged with Mrs B for her to pick me up at a designated place and I headed out into the rain and wind. Again I wasn't sure how my legs were going to respond but I found myself running faster than I wanted, so deliberately slowed it down, so that after 4 miles I was running at 8.50 per mile pace and kept it like that until 10 miles were up and decided to slow right down. The problem for me when I slow down is that all the aches and niggles get magnified and it's more uncomfortable to run. So I found myself picking up the speed again, it felt much better! Mrs B arrived just as I did but I had another 4 minutes to run, so I was followed by a slow moving car with the driver trying to ask, with hand signals, how much further! Nice finish, cool down and then all the stretching exercises done in the rain.


    This week is more of the same!


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    1. Your training is epic Pete, enjoying watching your training journey. Whatever will you do with your time post outlaw?

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    2. Probably swim/bike/run a bit more R&B!

      But it be much more sociable. We haven't been on the tandem in 2019 yet, so that is planned immediately after Outlaw as we are supposed to be going over to Norfolk straight from Nottingham with friends to cycle for a few days!

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    3. Your training is going so well Pete. I'm so impressed at how disciplined you're being.

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    4. There are a couple of factors that have made things go well to date ruby.
      First is that the training plan has been well written and even though it's from the internet, it seems to suit me. I've made changes to it to meet my needs, but that is at the margins and the basis plan is intact.
      Second is that now that I'm no longer working I've got the time to do each session and recover, whilst doing everyday things.
      And finally, I've got 9 members of my family coming to Nottingham for the weekend to cheer me on and they're all checking regularly on how the training is going!

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    5. This is so inspiring Pete!

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    6. Every time I go on Strava you've been out swimming, running or cycling. It's very motivating, Pete. Keep it going!

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  6. Well done Kate, never an easy decision but definitely sounds like the right one...

    Week 8 of marathon training for me and all's going well so far. A ten miler on Saturday close to MP and 20 miles into the wind on Sunday - what a difference a week makes!

    I tried the 'Countdown crossroad' method for the long run which I heard about on the Running Channel. Basically you choose a starting point and run 4 miles out and back to the starting point in one direction then run 3 miles out and back in a different direction then again for 2 miles and 1 mile which totals 20 miles. The theory being that it's a good way to break down a long run without the demons that doing a long loop can bring. I was looking forward to it but i'm not entirely sure whether it felt any quicker or less like a 20 mile run than doing a long loop or out and back ten miler - I suppose at the end of the day 20 miles is 20 miles and it's a pretty long and lonely distance!

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  7. Hope you're feeling better soon Kate. Well done on skipping the HM, I know that would have been a tough call to make.

    I did quite a bit of fast running this weekend, clocking 9.5 miles early Saturday afternoon around MP+10%. Then in the evening I was asked if I wanted in on a long run in Bushy Park the following morning - first 10 miles at 6.15m/m, then pick-up for how ever many more... Six of us covered the first 10 miles in 60 minutes (ugh), then the pick-up came and I couldn't accelerate at all. I'd had a rough mile around 7/8 and I suspect it was a combination of the previous day's run and the fact I was wearing a jacket, when it was t-shirt/vest pace. I saw the last 8 miles out holding it to 6.15m/m. Still, I accumulated some more miles close to MP. Considering I only ran about 12 miles in total at MP in the last training block overall this was a good experience. The highlight of the run might have been as I approached the car park at the end of my run to see hundreds of runners waiting for a 10k race - one of them said to me you don't need to run I think they're going to start it a little later - how they could mistake me at the end of 18 miles soaked and trail-splattered with someone ready to run 10k I'll never know.

    I enjoyed some celebratory drinks with my running club in the evening, for the end of this season's XC league. The men had dragged themselves out of Division 4 and the women had placed at their highest level in Division 2.

    Hope everyone is getting on OK with their running!

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  8. Terrible start to the week with legs in a world of pain. A lot of stretching and foam rolling with just a little cut down on running mileage and what a difference! 22 miles on Saturday that were enjoyable. Didn’t even have much of a reaction the day after.
    Then I travelled down to Glasgow for last night’s final session of the euro indoors. It was awesome. Laura Muir was awesome. So fast wehn she kicked.
    Found watch indoors much easier than outdoors, everything is closer, much easier to keep track on all the field events.
    All in all, a great weekend!

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    1. Brilliant to have got to see the final day of the championships. As much as it would have been good to see Laura Muir, I would have liked to have seen Eilidh Doyle on the final leg of the 4x400.

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    2. That was good too Pete. Whole crowd was on their feet willing her on. They didn’t have a medal ceremony for the relays - seemed a bit of a shame.

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  9. Congratulations to anyone that did the Tokyo marathon, didn't look like good conditions but would have loved to have been there. Was expecting Yuki to be in there, but must be saving himself for Boston.
    Saw your post on Twitter about missing the race, hope you're better soon and at least it wasn't a marathon.

    As for my running, into the last 3 weeks of marathon training now. Some bloody long track sessions, bloody long tempo sessions, and bloody long long runs. I've been targeting 3:10 as it's my first and that seemed to be a decent target from my HM PB (1:28), but these last few weeks I've felt really good, and perhaps I could push a bit quicker. Plan at the moment is to set off at 3:10, assess it at around 14 and 21KM, then push for 3:05 or quicker if I feel good. It's quite scary not really knowing though.

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  10. I can totally relate to knowing when not to run. My ankle doesn't hurt at all any more, isn't swollen, can comfortably run 4.5 miles (my longest run in a month on Friday) and yet I still need to hold back. It's week five since spraining it and still prime re-injury time, so I need to carry on being patient.

    Which was hard on Sunday as I went along to support my club's runners in the Warwick half marathon. Two hours in Storm Freya cheering is actually more fun than it sounds as there was a good group of us there, but I couldn't help longing be one of the runners instead. I've pulled out of Liverpool half next weekend - was really looking forward to that one - and will probably have to pull out of Cov in three weeks too as I doubt I'll be fit enough even if I'm training properly again. I went home and wrote the race report for our club newsletter which made me feel even more frustrated at not running. I think I many ways it's more difficult to be at the 'almost there' stage with injury than the injured injured stage. At least with that there's no way you could run. With this stage it's so hard not to!

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    1. I think you're right Ruby, it's far too tantalising when you feel able and almost .... almost are! (p.s. spraining and spring training are remarkably similar, maybe you'd had a glass of wine when you prayed for one)

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  11. Hard luck Kate. I managed to dodge the virus that meant mrs. lovebison was also a DNS and made it to the Cambridge start line, entirely against the advice of the physio who's been treating a minor calf strain. But that's on her for describing it as "minor", which I chose to hear as "you're good to go." With a somewhat patchy build-up and very little tempo work this year I didn't have any great expectations - something around 1:28 was my best guess as to what I'd be capable of.

    Long story short - I wasn't far wrong, clocking 1:27:48. Around mile 8 I thought I might be able to sneak a 1:26 and tried to push the pace, but really didn't have the legs for it and settled for a pretty evenly-paced effort. Conditions were reasonably damp, but thankfully Freya didn't introduce herself until the final couple of miles (and may have induced a couple of expletives on the final incline).

    Oh, and my legfeels better today than it did beforehand - is it possible to run out a calf strain? Anyway, it's 5 weeks to Manchester and after my enforced rest (I'll just call it a bonus taper) I'm looking forward to the last few hard weeks training, and trying to work out what a sensible race goal is.

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  12. Sorry to hear about yesterday’s race Kate but you definitely made the right choice overall. You wouldn’t have wanted relatively substandard result and be worse off to boot.

    I was in a bit of a quandary yesterday as I’ve been nursing a bad cold and cough since Thursday when I did a track session in the pouring rain after coughing my way through the day at work, much to everyone’s annoyance. I stayed in Friday and Saturday and was pensive about my Sunday run in which I wanted to try at least 10 miles tempo-ish. Anyhow I set off with Mr KYD for a warm up then decided to peel off after 7k and give it a bash. I managed a further 17k at a decent-ish clip and felt absolutely fine and strong doing so!

    However, when I got home it all went south again and I had a rotten night as well : (
    No moral to this story.

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    1. I had to smile when I saw your run come in as much as 24k - just "some ks" indeed! :)

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  13. I hope you're back to form soon Kate. I ran the Kempton Park Half Marathon yesterday although on arrival, I did wonder whether I'd made a terrible mistake. I chose the race because it was supposedly flat and fast. My previous HM had been in Ealing which is an undulating course. I thought I could take a couple of minutes off my 1.53.01 without the hills. Unfortunately, Kempton Park race course, where the race was held, is exposed to the elements, and the elements were out in force yesterday. The wind was blowing the metal barriers over before the start and the runners (about 150 of us) were all huddled under a gazebo wondering why we hadn't stayed in bed. Nevertheless, we all set off. Within a couple of minutes the field had stretched out and I found myself running in a gale on my own, with only the occasional marshall for company. It was four laps of uninteresting terrain and not even a fence to supply any interest. Eventually, having pushed myself as hard as I could I finished in 1.52.44 - exactly 16 seconds quicker than Ealing. Ah well!

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    1. That sounds a bit grim! well done on your PB though, imagine if you'd been boosted by competitive runners alongside..

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    2. Well done - and thanks for the heads up!

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  14. I have entered a 10k race on St Patrick's Day in Belfast, I have never raced a 10k before. I have raced 5ks, a few half marathons and marathon but for some reason never really fancied a 10k.

    Decided on Friday it might be good to do a quickish effort over the distance, just to work out realistic pace goals.

    Ended up finishing in 42:40. First two miles were around 7:08 mpm (which at the time seemed to be fairly tough) but the next 4.2 miles all ended up at sub 7 minute pace which was a nice surprise.

    Most pleased that I got faster every mile (including mile 4 and 5 which are uphill) and if I can replicate the time in the race I will be happy but also now have the aim of trying to break 42 minutes

    Rest of the weekend consisted of two easy runs and, all in all, it's been a good few days' work

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  15. I ran a bit faster. Not much, just a bit.

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  16. A solid weekend’s training. I was traveling up to Newcastle on Saturday, a 7 hour train epic, so I squeezed in park run before I left for the station. Went out a bit fast as I was trying to get a sub-30 5k, which would be a first for me, and as a result came quite close to throwing up. I’m increasingly nauseous if I run earlier on in the day or if I push my heartbeat above 170bpm, this didn’t used to happen, anyone got any ideas?

    Sunday morning I did a very gentle 2 mile run with my friend’s running group and got ready for the day’s proper challenge, my first brick session. It was tipping it down as I headed out on a touring bike borrowed from a friend who decided to come along. Nice to have company and help with directions on what was a cold and slippery, but very fun, 17 mile loop from Wallsend to Tynemouth and back. Arriving back at his I abandoned the bike and thought ‘my legs feel fine, I don’t know what everyone’s talking about’, before turning round and promptly having a massive wobble as my knees seemed to have been borrowed by someone else and replaced by pipe-cleaners. The person who had my knees had lent me their feet, which felt very strange for practically the whole mile in my training plan. It took a little while for my big toes to thaw out and until they did I thought I’d messed up my trainers on the bike as it felt like there were marbles under each insole. I felt strong the whole time, even when my limbs weren’t my own, and although I wasn’t pushing speed on either leg it felt like a really useful session. 10 weeks to go before triathlon :0 60 minute swim session planned for this afternoon.

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    1. Well done violet on your first brick session! NOW you know what your legs feel like as soon as you start running! Just keep practicing and it'll start to feel normal!

      Now you know that, I''ll let you into another little secret. When you finish the swim and you're coming out of the water and you're trying to do it quickly, it's quite likely that you'll feel a little bit dizzy. Something to do with standing up and the effort you've been making whilst swimming. The trick is to move slower and try not to run into transition until you feel ok. A fast walk or just a walk can be far more effective than falling over! I've not actually fallen over myself, but I've had a marshal hold on to me until I could convince them I wouldn't fall over and on another occasion I had to hold on to some railings until the dizziness went away.

      Enjoy you training.

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  17. My sympathies for all those that couldn't get out running. My own weekend was the much-anticipated-often-in-doubt Anglesey Half Marathon. First off, many thanks to the organisers, the drink station helpers and marshals for standing out there in the rain. Freya didn't kick in until later on so it could have been worse but to stand there for 3 hours was great commitment.

    Anglesey was much-anticipated because it was the debut half for my friend Neil who took up running last year in order to get fitter and lose weight. He hit the start having lost 3 and half stone but came into the run on the back of a chest infection and very little training over the past month. The week before he was all set to call it off but he was determined to do it and so, after discussing tactics in the pub the night before, we headed to Menai Bridge for the start. He was pretty nervous but once we got going was fine. We had set a target pace of 7.30 min/km with the knowledge that anything over 8.30 would put us in danger of missing the 11.15am cut off at 10 miles. Our tactic was to take it as 4 parkruns and see how he felt after each 5k. The first 5 were great but a little fast at 7min/km. We were through 10k at 1hr 10 and then shortly afterwards onto the hill out of Beaumaris and the loop around before heading back. 15k and he was still ok and we got to the 10 mile cut off with around 15 minutes to spare. From there on in it was a bit of a struggle. There's a long incline up to the 20 km mark and this really took it out of him. Some walking, some running, plenty of encouragement from those around us and a good dose of determination and the finish was in sight. Neil was adamant that he would run to the end so we set a point that he wasn't allowed to walk from. The finish at Menai is around a corner and as he ran round it he was met with a cheer from friends and family and that's when the tears started. We crossed the line together in 2 hrs 42 minutes, an average of 7.34 min/km, which we were very happy with. I don't think anyone has ever been prouder of their medal.

    From my own point of view I have to say that this is a lovely course. It starts on the old Menai Bridge and takes you down to the road that runs along the Menai Straits with views of Snowdonia. No doubt the views are amazing when the weather's better but they were still good on a wet day in March. It's on my list to do again.

    Finally, it dawned on me how much we take our own fitness for granted. Most readers here will be used to putting the trainers on and just going out and enjoying a run, so to see someone struggle is very humbling. No apologies for the length of the post as I doubt there will be another Neil HM race report. As he said to someone along the way: "I'm doing 2 half marathons today" (cue quizzical look) "my first and my last" Happy running, everyone.

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    1. Congratulations to Neil! But a big slap on the back to you GJ for being the support crew! There is something that is so rewarding about helping a fellow runner achieve their aims/goals.

      And let's see whether Neil changes his mind in the days and weeks ahead. It frequently happens!

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    2. Thanks Pete. It was great to see him do it. He will keep on running but 10k max I think. Saying that, I prefer that distance too. I'll get him to do Colshaw Hall 10k in June and probably a Tatton 10k before that as they do them every month.

      Totally unconnected but it must be a sign of more people running that Aldi's middle aisle is flogging foam rollers. Remember the old Fast Show Sketch? "Did you get the food shopping, love?" "Even better than that...." It is a lovely foam roller though. :-)

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    3. Many congratulations to Neil for this great achievement Jim and, as Pete says, to you too for supporting. Was looking forward to this one coming through on Strava and your report here every bit as much as I was DavID's superfast effort last week. It looks a considerably undulating profile so that makes it even more of an achievement. The key to success was clearly the planning done in the pub!

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    4. Felt quite emotional reading that GJ, huge well done to Neil and well done to you for helping him keep the faith. You're right about taking fitness for granted when you're a regular runner, and forgetting just how hard it can be. I really hope Neil keeps on running and there is another half marathon report one day!

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    5. I love reading reports like this. Thank you for sharing and well done to you both.

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    6. Love that report, GJ, thank you for sharing. And huge well done to Neil - a great achievement.

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    7. What's App from Neil this morning: "Fancy doing Anglesey again next year?" Breezehillpete, you are truly wise!

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  18. 11k in a howling hooley round Tottenham. Hill repeats - 5. Hit in eye by flying debris. Ran home. Loved it.

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  19. No running this weekend. The previous week was spent mountaineering. Scottish Winter without the snow. Five full days in the West Highlands and only one hour of rain.....in February!!! The good weather meant long hard days and as I tend to rely on my right leg for tricky descents, my right knee was quite painful at the end. Even though we all know running is not bad for knees, running on an already bad knee is not a good idea . In the spirit of knowing when not to run, I skipped Saturday's parkrun and went for a bike ride instead. In fact it was nice enough that I went out for a morning MTB ride and then an afternoon road ride. I must run today though, before the next batch of rain comes in. I think I will try a new route with short loops and the downhill all on grass, the up hill on pavement.

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  20. Another crap weekend here for weather. Much of the time it was snowing. Today, as I'm typing this, it's -12C outside. Need I remind everyone that I live in what is allegedly the American South?

    So this is my life: treadmill, treadmill, treadmill. I'm doing some progression runs, some harder shorter tempos and even hill repeats. All of this on a black looping belt.

    Please help me get through the monotony! Does anyone have any podcast recommendations?

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    1. I think BBC Radio podcasts are available worldwide, it is just the TV that is restricted to a UK IP address. Try out some from Radio 4. There is one called 'A history of the world in 100 objects'. You get 100 episodes around 10 minutes each. Just search on the text between single quotes. Many other excellent podcasts also available including a huge archive.

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    2. Oh, Skipper, I'm a prisoner of the BBC. ;-)

      My current BBC fave is The Hurricane Tapes. I actually look forward to Mondays on the treadmill so I can listen to the new episode.

      I also like football (EPL) so have that when it's on. My long run this week went the length of the Man City - Bournemouth match.

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    3. From New Zealand, I listen to a lot of BBC radio podcasts. Among my favourites are Start the Week and Forum, and I also listen to podcasts on science and books. I would greatly miss these podcasts if they become no longer available in NZ.

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  21. I can relate to this. I set out on Saturday for what was intended to be a 14km run, but the heat got the better of me. It was a very still and humid 28C in Auckland, and I don't run well in the heat. I should have gone out in the early morning, but I had an appointment so waited until 3pm. By the mid-point, where there's a 1km uphill spur up to Musik Point (and views over the Hauraki Gulf) I was starting to feel drained, so skipped that part and made it a 12km run. I have a HM a week on Sunday :-/

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    1. I meant Sunday actually. Saturday was parkrun.

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  22. Running abroad for me last week, around Nice whilst I was at a conference. As it finished early on the last day, I ran to Villefranche-sur-Mer and back - about eight miles round trip, with 1,000 feet of climbing which felt like most of it was the hill out of Nice. Something of a slog!

    Back home to sunny Aberdeenshire and set out in Sunday morning after a pretty indulgent Saturday night - but for the first time in my life, I ran three consecutive sub-8 minute miles! What's that all about? Actually, I think it might have something to do with having had much more sleep whilst away in Nice all week than I usually would at home. Never underestimate the power of a good night's sleep? Or better still, a week's worth of them.

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    1. Villefranche-sur-Mer - I remember a work trip some years ago, staying in Nice with a daily commute into Monaco. One day when the sun was out, I was sorely tempted to get off the morning train at Villefranche-sur-Mer. It looked like the perfect place to do nothing in the sun. Knowing the terrain around there kudos for running, that would have had a few steep bits in it.

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    2. Yup, there was as fair bit of uphill..... you know that feeling when you're not familiar with the route and as the road winds relentlessly uphill in front of you, you keep thinking that once you're round the next corner you're bound to be at the top......??

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  23. I am struggling to get into a habit of posting here on Mondays! Better late than never though right?

    In my experience, one of the biggest benefits of having a coach is that you can get a more objective take on whether to push through or take it easy. I'm intrigued by using waking heart rate for that purpose.

    My running last week was tough, but I finally felt that I was healthy enough to have a proper go at those tough sessions. A few weeks ago, I think I had the actual flu, with symptoms that seemed to drag on forever. Some of the struggles I've been having were probably also deliberate, with marathon training keeping me in a state of exhaustion at least 50% of the week. Either way, it felt good last week to knock out 10x 800m reps not quite at my goal pace but without any major blow outs. I was rewarded with "only" 16 miles on the Sunday, a cautious revision of the plan which previously had me doing 20.

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